Bid is less than estimated cost of project

MECO Engineering recommends Marion County accept Bleigh Construction's bid to replace the Taylor bridge on County Road 313.

Two bids for the project were opened Monday by the Marion County Commission during its meeting at the courthouse in Palmyra.

The low bid for the project, submitted by Bleigh Construction of Hannibal, was turned over for review to Jim Bensman of MECO Engineering, which was hired by the county to provide engineering services on the project.

Teya Stice, county coordinator, said she had heard from Bensman, who was recommending the county accept the bid.

Marion County Coordinator Teya Stice notified the commission members by email regarding the recommendation and asked if they wished to accept the bid.

As of midmorning Wednesday, Stice had heard from Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch, indicating his desire to accept the Bleigh bid.

While Stice had not yet heard from Presiding Commissioner David Lomax or Western District Commissioner Steve Begley, opposition was not anticipated. Bleigh's bid of $884,083.60 was significantly lower than MECO's estimated cost for the project, $1,075,770.35.

MECO would begin the contract process if the commission accepts the bid, Stice said.

"We will have to do a notice of award, a notice to proceed and that kind of thing. We will also have to schedule a preconstruction conference. That all takes a little bit of time," Stice said.

The commissioners indicated Monday they are still hopeful the new bridge can be opened before the end of 2019.

The 201-foot Taylor bridge on County Road 313 crosses the North Fabius River. It was closed Nov. 8, 2017, on the recommendation of the Missouri Department of Transportation after multiple inspections found deterioration throughout the bridge, particularly in the floor beams that run directly under the concrete deck. MoDOT concluded that the span, which opened in 1929 as a part of U.S. 61, could no longer safely hold the weight of a car.